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Career Conversations: Discovering Green Careers

In partnership with the Faculty of Environmental Studies.
Are you concerned about the environment and interested in a ‘green’ career? Want to meet York alumni and other professionals working in jobs where environmental stewardship, sustainability and justice are important?
Connect with professionals currently enjoying environmental careers and get the inside scoop on what it’s really like to work in this field. During this panel professionals will share their personal stories about breaking into the field, how their career paths took them from graduation to where they are now, what knowledge, skills and experience helped them succeed in their jobs and what types of opportunities are available in the field. The panel will be moderated by one of the Career Centre’s team members and followed by an open forum where students will have an opportunity to ask the panelists their own questions.
Registration is required. You may register for this event on the Career Centre’s online system (you must sign up for an account before you will be able to register for any events on the system).
Participating Panelists:
Sabrina Chiefari
Environmental Educator
Alumna: BES Environment & Culture, 2007
About Sabrina

Katrina Gordon
Environmental Site Assessor,
Watters Environmental Group Incorporated
Alumna: BES Environmental Studies, 2013
I often describe my job as an environmental version of CSI. As an Environmental Site Assessor, I am constantly faced with new projects and new sites each with their own unique set of environmental factors, site activities and potentially affecting neighbours. It is my job along with collaborative efforts with various levels of my team to carefully assess the Site and remediate any environmental issues if any.

Nishal Shah
Project Coordinator,
Ontario Climate Consortium- Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Alumnus: BES Environmental Studies and Certificate in Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing, 2018
I am an international student from Nairobi, Kenya. I finished my high school in Nairobi and decided to further my education in Canada at York University. I recently graduated with a Bachelors in Environmental Studies and a certificate in GIS and Remote Sensing. The reason I decided to choose environmental studies was to help me pursue what I have always loved- the environment and nature. This and to find pragmatic solutions to preserve the environment. After graduating I was offered a position with the Ontario Climate Consortium (OCC) as a Project Coordinator, where I supported the Project Managers in developing research that supports climate mitigation and adaptation projects, and also, obtain and prepare large spatial data sets, manipulating them in GIS, and carrying out research examining relationships between land use and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Daniel Woolfson
Senior Planner,
City of Toronto
Alumnus: MES Environmental Studies, 2012
After graduating from FES, I began my career in Urban Planning with the City of Vaughan. Starting as a Planner 1, I quickly immersed myself in all things municipal planning, reviewing applications to the Committee of Adjustment and moving on to more complex work. After 4 years, I moved to the City of Toronto, which has allowed me to fulfill a career goal of planning the City I call home. I am now a Senior Planner in Strategic Initiatives, moving from local community planning to a city-wide strategic policy focus.

Kate Hayes
Senior Manager, Restoration and Management
Credit Valley Conservation
Alumna: MES Integrated Watershed Management, 1993
With over 20 years experience working in the United States and Canada in the environmental field, I have a particular interest in private/public sector partnerships to advance ecosystem restoration goals.
More recently, my work has focused on largescale habitat restoration projects on the north shore of Lake Ontario. I continue to have a strong interest in linking land-based activities with the health of the watershed and Lake Ontario.
In my capacity with CVC, I manage restoration team. We undertake a range of projects including forest, grassland, wetland, river and coastal restoration and management projects.
These projects are multi-disciplinary in nature, with a range of stakeholders from all levels of government, non-government, and corporate and individual landowners. My particular interest lies in identifying common ground that will achieve mutually beneficial goals and objectives.

Tonya Lagrasta
Sr. Manager, Corporate Responsibility & PwC Canada Foundation
PwC Canada
Alumna: BA Environmental Studies and Geography, 2004
A certified Environmental Professional with over 15 years of experience in corporate responsibility & sustainability working with leading global organizations. I have developed a niche of expertise in the start-up phase within the public and for-profit sector, across multiple industries, where I have helped shape and translate vision into strategy, operationalize and report on performance.
I develop strategies and programs that deliver social value, mitigate impacts through operations, build brand awareness in the marketplace, and bring culture and values to life internally through the engagement of employees & clients. I establish strategic relationships and steward donor dollars across the public, private and charitable sectors to achieve social and environmental priorities in the community

Colleen Cirillo
Director of Education,
Toronto Botanical Garden
Alumna: BES Environmental Studies and Geography, 1995
I have studied and worked in the environmental field for 25 years, with a strong focus on urban greenspace issues and the promotion of sustainable behaviours. My projects are collaborative in nature. They bring together diverse partners to identify and achieve common goals while considering the perspectives and priorities of all stakeholders.

Christina DiCecco
Managing Director,
Connexions Consulting
Alumna: BES Environmental Studies, 2014
The process of finding your core interests and working at capitalizing on your personal talents is part of the journey of life. From the way I was raised to first jobs and now in my career development, there are core values that always held true – sustainability and environmental stewardship. Looking forward to discussing all types of options for an efficient way to get there.

Chun Nam Law
Planner, Policy Development,
Region of Peel
Alumnus: MES Planning, 2013
Growing up, I have always been fascinated by our cities and the natural environment. For the longest time I did not know what I wanted to do and it wasn’t until my undergraduate education when I discovered a career that could fit my interest in the urban and natural environment. This prompted me to learn all that I could about planning which ultimately led me to the MES Planning program and to where I am today, developing policies to address housing affordability and planning for more sustainable suburban development for Peel Region.

Rebecca Niblett
Children’s Education Supervisor, School Programs,
Toronto Botanical Garden
Alumna: MES Environmental Studies, 2007
My career path hasn’t been straightforward. I’ve gone back to school and studied a variety of subjects (psychology, environmental studies and visual art) and I’ve had jobs in a variety of fields including teaching English in South Korea, volunteer management, environmental education, and administrative work. I believe that a varied background is a huge strength in the environmental field. But, it has taken me some time to find a position where I can use all of my strengths and experience.

Steve Roesch
Coordinator, Greenspace Conservation
Toronto & Region Conservation Authority
Alumnus: BA Environmental Studies, 2007
When I graduated from York I never thought I would ever be doing what I am currently am. Data collection and trail inspection were not something I even considered, but finding employment in the environmental industry, opened my eyes to the potential of the various kinds of work you can do with a environmental Degree/Diploma.

Sophia Sestito
Environmental Manager-Corporate Services
Alumna: BES Environmental Studies, 2007
This is an exciting time to be in an environmental career. From carbon accounting, cleantech innovation, government grants and even yes I’m saying it…construction! I have had my fair share of time working out in the field, as well as the pleasure of project managing. My career has been diverse in nature and I believe my past experiences have helped shape the opportunities I have encountered and will into the future. I have been involved in asbestos testing, environmental assessments, paving, geotechnical and concrete assessment and project management in the environmental consulting world. I am currently the first Environmental Manager EllisDon construction has had in it’s 60 years in the industry and there’s more opportunities to come. I can’t wait to be part of the perpetual innovation, knowledge and growth in this industry!

Jessica Wright
Environmental Consultant, Associate
Dillon Consulting
Alumna: MES Environmental Studies, 2010
When I decided to do my MES at York, I did not have a clear career path. My philosophy was to study something that aligned with my passions and interests in a field where an interesting job/career could follow. Before I had even finished my MES, I was hired by Dillon Consulting, and interesting it has been! Throughout my time as an environmental consultant, my work has been very dynamic and has provided me opportunities to work with various types of clients (ranging from renewable energy, transportation, resources to government) and in a variety of geographies (coast to coast in Canada, El Salvador and Panama).



Jan 22 2019


2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


140 HNES Building
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